THOUSANDS of local car mechanics could be out of work if the Government fails to protect their livelihoods when negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, a new report has warned.
The Institute of the Motor Industry said small independent motor businesses were at risk if the European Union’s ‘Right to Repair’ scheme isn’t protected. The EU regulation means all car manufacturers are obliged to share information on parts and repair processes for all their new models, which secures a fair market for independent businesses to operate in.
Failure to secure access to the scheme could see 40,000 car garages lose access to information and data that’s needed to repair vehicles being used on the road today.
The industry body has warned that exclusion from the ‘Right to Repair’ competition laws – which were instated to prevent anti-competitive practices and abuse of companies’ dominant market positions – could have ‘massive repercussions’ for local independent vehicle repair centres. With vehicles becoming increasingly complex and reliant on electronics an inability to access essential information would cripple small local servicing and maintenance providers.
As a result, drivers would be forced to have their vehicles serviced by a franchised dealer at significantly higher costs.
Research says franchised dealers charge an average of £99 an hour for labour whereas independent garages provide a service for an average of £56 per hour.
According to research by MotorEasy, franchised garages linked to big car manufacturers are typically charging 40 per cent more to fix a car. It investigated more than 6,000 garages across the UK, discovering that some mechanics are charging up to £234 an hour in labour costs.